We often say Cornwall is famous for many things, but that’s because it’s true. But what really gives us a unique edge in this beautiful part of the world is our stunning scenery and beautiful beaches.
Cornish landscapes are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful in Britain. Imagine caves and causeways, rock alcoves and dancing sailboats. The way miles of fields blend so seamlessly with hundreds of stunning coastlines is what makes the Duchy so special.
There are so many pretty places to visit across the county that it’s almost impossible to choose which one is the prettiest. So we’ve compiled a list of some of the most beautiful places in Cornwall – with some that don’t always get so much love (because, as we’ve said before, there’s just too much to choose from).
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So if you’re looking for somewhere a little different to explore this summer, why not head to one of the places on this list? Trust us, you won’t be disappointed. Let us know if you agree with our picks in the comments below.
There aren’t many sites that compare to watching a show in a theater perched on top of a cliff, overlooking beautiful Porthcurno Bay.
The theater faces south-east across the mouth of the English Channel, an area rich in wildlife and a wonderful place to experience the rugged beauty of the Cornish coast.
If there are no performances, you can explore the open-air theater itself, take to the stage, explore the backstage aisles and gaze into the watery depths of the narrow ‘zawn’ almost below your feet.
Mont Saint Michel
St Michael’s Mount is one of Cornwall’s most iconic landmarks. Home to the St Aubyn family as well as a small community, the island is home to a medieval church and castle which sits atop the hill – with the oldest buildings dating from the 12th century.
There is also the terraced subtropical garden which people can explore and take in breathtaking views of Mount’s Bay.
St Michael’s Mount was also recently named to a list of British places you must see before you die.
Bodmin Moor is the largest section of Cornwall’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) at almost 200 square kilometres, making it the perfect place for walkers to set off with a map and explore.
Natural rock formations such as The Cheesewring, The Hurlers Stone Circles, Colliford, Siblyback Lakes and Dozmary Pool are all notable sites to explore on the Moors.
It is also one of the best places for stargazing in the whole of the UK. Bodmin Moor’s scenery is truly one of a kind and is one of the best stargazing sites in Cornwall.
The moor was awarded Dark Sky Landscape status by the International Dark Sky Association in July 2017 and has been designated as one of the county’s Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. That’s why it’s no surprise that it has inspired poets, writers and artists for centuries.
Of course you don’t want to venture too far into Bodmin Moor in the dark, but there are plenty of places to park your car, turn off all the lights and gaze out at the peaceful night sky and the best part is that there is no there is no light pollution, so you can count the constellations.
The Lizard and Kynance Cove
Marking the most southerly point in the country, The Lizard is a stunningly idyllic peninsula with a landscape where farmland stretches for miles and meets the beautiful blue seas below.
The villages are picture-perfect, with tiny thatched cottages clinging to the ends of the valley in creeks where a small fleet of fishing boats catch fresh crab and lobster.
Located on the west side of the Lizard, it is probably Cornwall’s most photographed and painted location – Kynance Cove. the contrast between the cove’s white sandy beach and the beautiful blue waters of the sea make for a breathtaking sight.
The beautiful fishing town of St Ives is one of the county’s most beloved destinations, and for obvious reason.
St Ives Harbor is most notable as it is home to many shops, galleries, cafes and pubs along the street parallel to the sea. Its thick walls also house the beautiful sandy beach, which is an ideal safe spot for swim and build sand castles, and is surrounded by the hustle and bustle of this popular seaside resort.
The town is still a working port and from the beach you can watch local fishermen landing their daily catch of fresh seafood like mackerel and sea bass. The city lifeboat station, located on the harbor for more than 100 years, is open to visitors during the summer season.
St Ives Harbor was also on the list of British places you must see before you die.
For around 400 years until the 1920s, the village of St Agnes was a mining community, surrounded by over 100 tin and copper mines.
The village is also home to the National Trust tin mine, Wheal Coates, which is part of the World Heritage Site. You can explore the industrial landscape on foot and stroll through the machine houses perched on the edge of the cliffs, surrounded by beautiful gorse flowers and overlooking miles of the beautiful sea below.
Chapel Porth beach is also considered one of the best places for stargazing in the whole of the UK. Low levels of light pollution mean you have a clear view of the stars in the night sky.
With breathtaking coastal views and the perched stone ruins of the tin and copper mines, you can gaze up at the starry sky and map the constellations.
The Camel Estuary, from Padstow and Rock down river to Wadebridge, is one of only two ‘inner’ sections of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
This tranquil landscape is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, with many small quays lining the estuary and its coves, providing the perfect backdrop for peaceful walks.
Small lanes are also bounded by high hedges and overgrown with trees, along the famous Camel Cycle Route linking Bodmin and Padstow – which is one of the county’s best-known cycle routes and is popular with locals and visitors.
Cape Cornwall is one of only two capes in Britain.
According to National Trust website“Cape Cornwall marks the place where the Atlantic currents divide. It was purchased by Heinz for the nation as part of its centenary celebrations and presented to the National Trust in 1987. There is a distinctive plaque at the top to mark this gift.
“The chimney stump dates back to 1894, when the Cape Cornwall mine was in operation, mining tin and copper under the sea. Today the site is part of the Tin Coast and Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. “
It also has a walking path with beautiful views of the Atlantic and beyond, as well as stunning wildflowers. But, it is important to stick to the main trails as there are many mineshafts along the coast from Cape Cornwall.
A village that rose to prominence through television, Botallack is highly regarded for its relationship with Poldark which saw the engine houses featured widely throughout its airtime.
Situated on what is known as the Wild Atlantic Coast, the area has been transformed by tin and copper mining with the famous Crowns machine houses clinging to the base of the cliffs.
Life in Botallack is therefore more than a little different to what it was centuries ago – but it is still as beautiful and certainly home to some of the most spectacular scenery you can find in Cornwall.